Thanks to a ridiculous heat and humidity wave this summer, I have spent my nights in front of a fan and a laptop. My goal was to finish compiling images of all the arthropod species I've taken in San Diego County, order them in taxonomic rank, and publish them.
This was rather time consuming and not very exciting although I did enjoy reviewing the wonderful species that I've encountered the last few years. Many images were taken with a compact camera or iPhone back-in-the-day; however, they were clear enough for positive identification.
My goal is to not only share the wonderful beauty and diversity of the arthropods of San Diego County, but to share how important it is to learn how to be a Citizen Scientist. This is evident when clicking on the individual images of organisms. A new page will open that directs you to my Project Noah entry for that spotting. There you can read my description, habitat and notes (as well as see how my knowledge of anatomy, observation, etc has increased over the years). Some spottings even have video so you can see movement and maybe even hear the organism. The more people learn about wildlife (yes even creepy crawlies), the better they understand their role in nature and hopefully make the leap to accepting their importance to natures balance.
Now the whole taxonomic thing is so people can use it as a reference but I will be the first to admit that there may be errors. I have absolutely no science degree or formal qualification unless a self-proclaimed nature nerd status counts. I have been very fortunate to have met many experts and other nature nerds during my re-connection with nature and thought I should share what I've learned. I have a lot of people to thank for identifying my spottings such as my friends at Project Noah and at Bug Guide. Even a helpful guide of Natural History of Orange County has pointed me in the right direction. There have been countless books as well but I won't list them all here.
Accuracy is important so if you see an error or disagree with an identification, please don't hesitate to contact me. I can see who provided the id to me and further investigate what features led to the id. Photo identification is tough and just one image may not be enough (or any images alone for that matter). That's also where the Project Noah link comes in handy. I have up to 6 different images of that same organism at different angles. That can be very helpful for positive identification.
I still have images of other organisms from other locations in my portfolio. I hope to someday have a reference of other types of organisms in San Diego County but that's not in the near future. For now, check out what I have so far and come back for updates (additions, replacing images as I get better images of that organism, corrections, etc). Arthropods of San Diego County
I hope you find it useful or at the very least, interesting :)